National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has debunked claims that a security outfit launched by South-West governors, Amotekun, is a threat to national unity.
Tinubu said this in a press statement on Wednesday.
The statement reads, “Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.
“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.”
The statement continues, “Amotekun. This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.
“Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.
“While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.
“In this matter, I do not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the SW Governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.
“Seeking to fulfil their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfil what they genuinely see as their public duty.
“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.
“Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardize the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.
“If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances. There are those who will use inflamed words to spark the passions of others. This may bring transient applause. But when the cheers fade, we shall only have further descended because their words were never inclined toward resolution and long-term improvement but toward short-term popularity and perpetual confrontation.
“I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. I dearly love its people, all of them. Over the years of our existence, they have suffered much. Yet they still hold forth with heroic patience and an extraordinary optimism born of strong faith. To these people, I owe my best. I shall not treat them cheaply or bandy their emotions like some errant football. The welfare of these good and decent people is my overriding concern.
“Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue. Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”
ICPC Clarifies Chairman’s Speech on N2.7Billion School Feeding Diverted
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC Chairman.
The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to some reports making the rounds on a segment of the speech delivered by the ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, yesterday, Monday, 28th September 2020 at its 2nd National Submit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector. The said reports erroneously implied that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs diverted monies meant for Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
In the speech, Professor Owasanoye stated inter alia, ‘’… we discovered payments to some federal colleges (secondary schools) for school feeding in the sum of N2.67b during the lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these findings’’.
The Commission wishes to clarify that the “school feeding” referred to by the Chairman of ICPC was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is NOT the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The Commission had discovered through its review of publications on the Open Treasury Portal that statutory monthly allocations meant for the feeding of secondary school students of SOME Federal Government Colleges were diverted into personal accounts.
This statement is issued for the purpose of clarifying the statement of the Hon. Chairman. Consequently, the general public is hereby advised to disregard the said reports suggesting reference to the school feeding programme going on in primary schools. The full speech of the Chairman can be downloaded from the Commission’s website at www.icpc.gov.ng.
Military Retires 256 Soldiers, Prepares Others For Post-Service Life (Full List)
Global Times Nigeria reports that after 35 years of service to the nation, 256 Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of the Nigerian military were on Friday retired in a colourful celebration.
The retirement of the 256 followed several months of courses on reintegration to civil life, entrepreneurship and other skills acquisition programmes at the Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city.
According to reports, the retirees were drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Navy (NN) and Nigerian Air Force (NAF). They were hosted to a combined passing out ceremony with 26 Generals and 47 mid-level officers who underwent management and entrepreneurship courses also at NAFRC.
It was gathered, 76 officers, were penciled for the courses they took to prepare them for retirement since they do not have many years in the civil service.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin while speaking at the ceremony, urged the retirees to be unrelenting in their support to security agencies particularly in the area of community intelligence gathering.
Reminding them of the recently approved enhanced welfare packages for retiring members of the Armed Forces by President Muhammadu Buhari, Olonisakin reminded them of the need to stay loyal and dedicated to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Olonisakin commended NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar and other staff for ensuring that Armed Forces personnel were exposed to the latest trends in global entrepreneurship and management training.
“I am aware of the reviewed curriculum designed to enhance the management and entrepreneurial skills of the participants. I urge the Commandant to continue these laudable initiatives for high quality human resource development that will be gainful to our personnel and society at large,” said the CDS.
In his welcome remarks, AVM Lar the retirees where the stream one of the second batch for this year. He praised them for their unblemished military service, adding them to remain disciplined, law abiding and worthy ambassadors of the centre.
Lar who led dignitaries at the event round the centre for inauguration of some of the projects executed since his assumption of office in January, said he was glad to have officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Defence Intelligence Agencies (DIA) participate in the courses for the first time ever.
“When l assumed command of this centre in January this year, my first impression was that this is a well-positioned centre with capacity to optimally deliver on its core mandate of vocational training not just for retiring personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) but also for all Nigerians as well as the West African sub region.
“Pursuant to this objective, I immediately developed my vision of command which is to harness the available human and infrastructural capital to transform NAFRC into a word class centre of excellence for international best practice in vocational training. The implementation of this vision was anchored on a three pronged approach of reengineering the people, processes and systems.
“Towards achieving this objective, my first emphasis was to develop and improve different aspects of our human capital resource. Next step was to update the training curricula of the various workshops in line with contemporary practices. As a corollary to this, several of the workshops had to be upgraded and equipped with modern and up to date equipment for training.
“To complement the already existing vocational workshops, l approved the introduction of new vocational workshops in paint making, communications equipment repairs and floriculture. My emphasis was also on maintaining and improving the physical and social infrastructure of the centre.
“On completion of the three anchors of my vision, l thereafter sought and obtained Defence Headquarters (DHQ) authorisation to admit members of para military agencies as well as government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to carry out training in NAFRC.
“In line with my firm belief that NAFRC is adequately poised to train all Nigerians with vocational skills, the centre in conjunction with the Mushin Local Government Council has successfully conducted various vocational training for citizens in Mushin Local Government as well as youths in different military barracks across Nigeria.
“Specifically, the centre’s Agriculture Wing has conducted training and cultivated several economic trees and vegetable farms in Nigerian Army Cantonment Ojo, NAF Base Ikeja while that of the Navy Town Ojo is being finalised. This same gesture has also been extended to several other military formations in Abuja, Bauchi, Kaduna, Makurdi and Kerang in Plateau State…” he said.
Also at the ceremony were a former CDS, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (rtd.), Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.Gen. Godwin Umelo and Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Logistics Command, AVM Lawal Alao, among others.
Lagos Assembly Gets First Female Sergeant-At-Arm
Mrs. Oyindamola Olorogun made history Monday, September 28, 2020, as the first female Sergeant-at-Arm to carry the Mace (Symbol of Authority in Legislative House) in Lagos House of Assembly.
She was the cynosure of all eyes at the plenary session yesterday when her sonorous voice reverberated through the Chambers as she shouted, “Order! Mr. Speaker”.
Not a few members including, members from Bornu State House of Assembly were taken aback when she led Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa into the Chambers for the day’s proceedings.
Mrs. Olorogun is one of the female members of the Sergeant-at-Arms Corps of Lagos House of Assembly.
The 33 years old mother of two is an HND graduate of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta.
She joined the Lagos House of Assembly Service Commission in 2019.
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